Tim Keenan and Holly Keenan are a married couple who have founded the independent game studio ‘Misfits Attic’. One of their titles is Duskers – a tactical survival game with elements of horror.
So I load up the game and suddenly I’m hit with what looks like the boot screen for my PC. Immediately all I can think about is Alien, where Ripley was talking to MOTHER using a green command line interface. Hmmm, not sure if I’m going to like this. Oh how wrong I was.
You are stranded in Space and all you have in front of you is your monitor. This monitor is your only connection to the outside universe, but also your only means of survival. Mixed reports come in about a pandemic and everyone has disappeared, you are completely in the dark and your only option is to explore to get what you need.
Sure a little jaunt over to that space station will maybe find things I need, but what if there’s nothing on board?!
Ok so I’m on the first screen and I have a choice of where I want to go. I can see the System, Galaxy and Universe view. Maybe I’ll go to another Star system? But then that’s going to waste fuel which I might need. Sure a little jaunt over to that space station will maybe find things I need, but what if there’s nothing on board?! Sure let’s go for it what’s the worst that could happen! At this stage I realise that I myself will not be boarding any ships or stations. I have 3 drones that I can send on these missions to explore for me, and can upgrade them to perform specific tasks while on board.
Off they trot over to the space station. The screen then turns into what I can only describe as a blueprint with a command box to the bottom right. These little guys need to be controlled by me, and I need to type the commands for them into the command box. Navigate, exit and generator have become my favourite words so far. If I so wish I can take control of one of the drones and pilot it by myself. They have a type of camera attached which can see where they are currently looking but it’s all a bit of a blur, like static on your TV. (Kids if you don’t know what static is then look it up).
Around this station I race to collect things I might need and even find some drones that no longer work but I could use later. Next section I go into and something red is on the screen, so being a nosey little drone I decide to go look. Em……maybe not the best idea. Next thing I know my drone is destroyed and the video feed stops. All the doors are open leaving my other 2 drones vulnerable, and I watch as little Jill and Cori are maimed by unknown forces. (I’m not sentimental, they are actually named Cori and Jill……..my poor babies).
All in all this game is so addictive, I loved every aspect of it.
So, let’s recap. I have failed to survive, I have wandered into the unknown as if there are no troubles to be had, and I have completely killed all three of my robot children. Give up? No way, I restart the game and try again. Every time you restart you generate a new universe and set of drones. There goes my idea of knowing what I did wrong lol.
All in all this game is so addictive, I loved every aspect of it. From the really gritty Alien-like command interface, to the survival aspect which is not as easy as you may think. So far I’ve killed a few pilots by starving them to death and I’m just glad drones don’t feel pain.
The audio is also really eerie, and adds to the element of suspense.
The developers have clearly put a lot of time and effort into this game. The graphics are amazing in my opinion, I completely get what they were trying to achieve. It’s dark, gritty and all about the command interface. I found this really refreshing where in other games you have to use a mouse or gamepad, and in this game you have to actually engage your brain and think.
The audio is also really eerie, and adds to the element of suspense. Random events occur and you have to make a choice of whether to run or chance getting that fuel. It is not simple, this game is all about reacting quickly and making snap judgements. Your life could depend on it.
Like I said previously, upgrading your drones and ship are vital as it doesn’t get easier the farther into the galaxy you go. Your ship and drones will degrade over time and you may not always find resources on the stations and ships you visit.
You will quickly find yourself enveloped in a world where your heart will race, you will shout at your monitor and get so angry when you die. Or maybe that’s just me and I maybe need to see a professional for help. I recommend you play this in a dark room with the volume turned up as this will intensify the playing experience so much!